At first, the romance was everything we could hope for—but all too soon, trouble showed up.
Liron wanted to “talk about things,” but Gal didn’t understand what there was to talk about. Liron complained that Gal was married to his work and was no fun anymore. Gal complained that he carried all the financial burden in the relationship.
Things escalated. We wanted to be together, but we broke up twice.
Then we decided to work on it.
We took workshops, went to counseling, and took on our own personal growth—and what we learned transformed us. Gal left his tech job to become a therapist. Liron let go of her design career and also became a therapist. Together we created a relationship that’s more fun, loving, and passionate than either of us ever could have imagined. We appreciate each other’s gifts and talents and learn so much from each other. In fact, we felt so inspired that we decided to dedicate our lives to working with couples and we created The Couples Center.
This past year we started a new, exciting (and sleepless…) chapter of our life together, as not just partners but also parents to our baby boy Oryan. We know that this is not the end of the road. We continue to grow and learn from each other, and be humbled by life’s lessons and experiences.
In his work with hundreds of couples, Gal Szekely has observed that most relationship issues stem from one well-intentioned but misguided thought: “It should come naturally!” In reality, strong partnerships don’t just happen—they require tools and resources most of us weren’t given and don’t even realize we need.
As the director of The Couples Center, Gal is dedicated to the vision of helping all couples create a Love that Lasts. His warm, practical approach—combining psychotherapy, coaching, and spiritual guidance—recognizes and honors the very best in every person, and makes him a sought-after coach, therapist, and workshop leader.
Ga’s transformative experience in his own relationship compelled him to leave a successful career in high-tech marketing and management consulting in favor of pursuing a master’s degree in Integral Counseling Psychology at San Francisco’s California Institute of Integral Studies, a school blending Eastern and Western healing philosophies. As a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Gal’s relationship with his wife is the source of inspiration for his commitment to helping couples create thriving relationships.
Gal has a lifelong dedication to learning and growth and is trained in a range of effective couples counseling methods. He is an instructor in the Hakomi experiential therapy method and is part of the Hakomi California teaching staff. He is also and adjunct faculty at CIIS University and JFK University where he teaches couples counseling. He has studied EFT (Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy) extensively and often incorporates EFT into his therapy work. Additionally, Gal utilizes a powerful approach to therapy called PACT (Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy) which utilizes cutting edge neuroscience and attachment theory. His work draws on years of meditation practice and a deep understanding of the body-mind connection. Gal also holds a master’s in Social Psychology from Tel-Aviv University in Israel, and conducts marriage counseling in Hebrew as well as English.
An experienced speaker and workshop leader, Gal has led dynamic, highly rated events at local tech companies, nonprofits, and universities. Gal has been interviewed for J. Weekly, I Do Podcast, and SFGate and is an expert contributor at YourTango. His articles have been featured on Prevention.com, PsychCentral, Momtastic, and The Huffington Post.
To read testimonials about Gal’s work, check out his Yelp page:
Liron teaches couples how to communicate in a healthy and productive way. She helps partners learn to de-escalate fights and eventually recognize and prevent fights before they even begin. That way couples can go to sleep in each other’s arms instead of feeling angry and unheard.
Liron believes that counseling sessions should continue at home, which is why she assigns her clients videos and articles to ensure they get the most out of couples counseling.
Working with relationships isn’t new to Liron. In her previous careers Liron has worked as both an interior designer and a doula. She found that wherever she went couples were struggling and needing support. Whether couples were renovating a house or preparing to be new parents, their arguments were never really about which color to paint the wall or if the mother-in-law should be in the room for the birth. It was always something deeper than that, something under the surface. Just like in her own relationship.
Liron’s experience in her own relationship inspired her to pursue a master’s degree in counseling psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. There she explored the relationship between the mind, body and spirit, which led her to a two year’s study of Hakomi for couples and mindfulness in relationships, and then on to Emotionally Focused Therapy.
Liron also works with individuals to learn more about themselves. She can help you gain clarity on what you want and need in your life, find your inner voice, and discover your strength and power in the world. She invites you to simply be yourself and share who you are. There is room for all of the complexity in your life, whether it’s anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, relationship issues or divorce, trauma, grief and loss, life transitions and more. Liron trusts each person’s unique pace and uses mindfulness to deepen the personal process. She believes individual therapy doesn’t have to happen solely through talking. It can also happen through art, musical instruments, or the wisdom of body movement.
Alongside Hakomi, Liron is a priestess in the 13 Moon Mystery School, has worked as a doula in the art of pregnancy and birth, and has studied shamanism and its connections to plants.